Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 31%, LAB 45%, UKIP 8%, LDEM 7%. The 14 point lead is the biggest Labour lead YouGov has ever shown since starting regular polling in 2002 (though other companies showed a lead of that size back in 2003).

While the size of the lead is notable, it’s not entirely surprising. Since the local election results YouGov have been showing an average Labour lead of 12 points or so… hence a 14 point lead is just as much in line with that as the 10 point lead last Thursday was.

152 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 31, LAB 45, UKIP 8, LDEM 7”

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  1. @ David

    They were actually polling 45% a year ago – more regularly in fact – and still the calls were coming.

  2. @R Huckle

    Who exactly would paint them as such – the overwhelmingly anti-EU press?

  3. Howard, I hope the remaining LibDems value your loyalty!

  4. Those who are not fixed on one party for life will generally vote/poll depending on the “mood music”. Thus Ed Miliband was regarded as odd because everybody said so. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve heard members of the general public repeat some simple mantra they’ve heard elsewhere as their own opinion.

    That’s a bugger – BUT…… this effect is now happening in reverse and “corrupt/incompetent/posh/ etc etc etc” are the buzz-words. I don’t think the government will recover, given the present scenario – and it could get much much worse for them.

    As someone who doesn’t want a government that is grotesquely over-represented by millionaires and has Mr. Pickles as chairman [we used to have a cat called Pickles] I’ll be delighted if that is the case.

  5. Little bit of caution needed – could be an MoE spike and i don’t believe Lib Dems will get 7% at the next GE.

    Interested in Leveson today – it sounds like O’Donnell’s testimony was pretty damaging to Cameron, and the pattern of this often seems to be that the lesser known figures are dropping more of the bombshells than the headline acts.

    I think it was @Tingedfringe who flagged up a Daily Mail story of the collapsed court case against a former NI driver who claimed he delivered cash to police officers for NI and told Hunt (his local MP) about it.

    It reads like a peculiar story, and there is also suggestions of attempts to suppress evidence via PPI certificates, and the whole thing smells. I suspect there’s a lot more damage to come from Leveson before its over.

    And then to Greece. A truly desperate situation, with Euro leaders finally realising what was obvious two years ago and has been ignored for the sake of political expediency. Grexit now seems all but guaranteed, but it will be rapid, unplanned and messy, with far greater ramifications than a planned and sensible exit would have been.

    With all this playing, I just don’t see where a Tory majority is going to come from.

  6. @ Johnny

    The tracker for this question about which Party is best on the economy in general starts on 6/7th June 2010. Tonight’s poll is the first time Labour have had a lead.

    The tracker can be found on YouGov, Archives, Politics, Political Trackers, Issues 1 (best party on each issue). I use an CtrlF1 & search for economy because it is quite far down the file.

    My apologies, if you are an internet wizard & I have insulted your intelligence with my ‘beginners’ guide to navigating YouGov’s site’. :-)

  7. @Hal

    Yes, I noticed this when Ukip started their recent rise. Add Ukip to Tory and it does not materially affect the balance in any of the regional breakdowns. Though ofcourse it could affect the outcome in some marginal seats.
    Ukip could do a deal to drop all their candidates, or they could stand their ground. Considering that some Con/Ukippers regard Cameron as a socialist, they cannot *all* be guarranteed to turnout in the Conservative interest at the next election.

    The Con 2010 vote switching to Others are most concerned yes about Europe, but also Immigration and Asylum.

    The 8% of Con 2010 switching directly to Labour is mirrored in 2010 Con voters who rank Labour as more reliable on NHS and Unemployment. Of those still expressing a Con VI, there is another chunk who favour Lab on these issues.

    `Simple… the LibDems were fomed from two parties.`

    Do you mean to say the Liberal Democrats are a coalition of two parties and this coalition has split with only the social democrat leaders still remain in the party?

  9. Betting news. First leader to leave before the GE (Stan James)

    Miliband 13/8
    Cameron 4/1
    Clegg 8/1
    None of them 11/8

    = Miliband worried about being knifed as his party turns against him on the back of a poll collapse, whilst Clegg sleeps the soundest of the three as his once fickle MPs rally around in anticipation of certain future poll success.

  10. LIZ H.
    Before bidding good night and going to compline, lol as the PM says to the lady..

    I am glad you giggle….

    But why are you giggling? Maybe I have a Spock Like tendency not to understand humour.

    Thank you very much for your analysis about why such great men and women are being deserted by an ungrateful electorate, if we believe polls.

  11. @Amber Star

    Ctrl & F you mean? Interesting, I was sure they’d lead them before, but I might be misremembering and they merely levelled.

  12. led them before*

  13. @ Craig

    Yes, Ctrl F – typo.

    Level pegging once, on March13/14th, going by the tracker. Tories have the lead every other time this question has been asked. Tonight is 1st time Labour have a lead.

  14. Of course the 14% lead could be down to the boost from the local elections and could slowly drop back down to 10 or 11. But I think Labour will use this lead to take the initiative and keep attacking the coalition. Cameron did this very well when in opposition and never gave Labour a moments peace.

  15. Thought you might have found another keyboard shortcut! These trackers must have been going on for a while now, showing some decisive movement, I wonder if AW – or others – are planning to chart them, like he has been known to from time to time.

  16. A couple of days ago, I was quite rightly reprimanded by AW for confusing “consistent” polling for “firm” polling.

    I mused at the time about at what point “consistency” morphs into “firmness”. If, over 19 months, for example, a party has had 93% of YG poll scores between 39 and 44, can we start to consider the consistency of these results to be an indication of some degree of firmness?

  17. As usual in this situation, no blue posts. Courage mes amis! :-)

    Mind, the lefties think I’m blue anyway. :-)

  18. @Smukesh (10.58)

    “Do you mean to say the Liberal Democrats are a coalition of two parties and this coalition has split with only the social democrat leaders still remain in the party?”

    If this is a serious question (rather than a Chris Lane comment) then you need to know that it is those of a Liberal tendancy who run the party and while the ex Social Democrat “leaders” are still around (eg Charlie Kennedy), many or most of the SDP rank and file have left (including myself) leaving the bulk of the party as Liberals (Orange Bookers)

  19. @R Huckle

    “All this talk of UKIP voters switching back to the Tories at the GE to stop Labour is nonsense. UKIP are intending to field many more candidates in both local and national elections.”

    They fielded well over 500 in the last General. Unless they’re very bad at picking their seats, there aren’t very many more votes to come from expanding their number of candidates. In local elections, it’s possible they could expand their vote share a bit more, though. But that would require a growing activist base, which might or might not be available.

    “They have also broadened out their policies, so they are not just the anti-EU party.”

    The Greens did that decades ago, and it’s only in the last couple of years that we’ve managed to get those outside the party to notice. The result is that they’ve stopped telling us to broaden our policy base, and started saying that we ought to be talking exclusively about environmental issues all the time, and have no business taking stances on other issues.

    In short, the general public will neither know nor care that UKIP have a comprehensive set of policies on issues that have nothing to do with the EU. At most, they’ll be aware that UKIP are in roughly the same ballpark as the Tories.

  20. Having met many ex-SDP members, my impression is that they were solid Labour who thought that ‘Commie Labour’ were unelectable. Think Rob Sheffield? I never heard anything particularly ‘liberal’ from any of them.

    They aren’t that fussed about PR and neither pro EU.

    These are those who have returned to Lab since June 2010. (er, IMO)

  21. @Peter Bell

    Interesting that in even in the remaining record low of 7% Yougov show that less than half approve of the coalition – how much of that disapproval is made of social democratic opposition is unknown, however.

  22. It’s good for the neutral to see UKIP above the LibDems because it shows that there is some hope of change in our sclerotic system.
    UKIP are not just the ‘right wing’ of the Tory party. They have supporters drawn from all the other parties who see that the EU is a busted flush. There may be a preponderance of ex-Tories, but it’s a mistake to assume that in a GE you can just add current UKIP voting intention to Tory to get the likely tory vote.

  23. @RHuckle

    “All this talk of UKIP voters switching back to the Tories at the GE to stop Labour is nonsense. UKIP are intending to field many more candidates in both local and national elections. They have also broadened out their policies, so they are not just the anti-EU party.”

    I tend to agree. The reversion to the norm assumption come General Election time smacks of tired thinking and complacency to me. UKIP are mutating into much more than a single issue party that is merely a temporary repository for Tory voters seeking harmless protest. To assume they’ll all obediently go back home to keep Labour out when it matters underestimates their growing alienation from mainstream Cameroonian Conservatism.

    @Earwiggle – Pam

    Welcome back Pam and I enjoyed your reference to the reshuffle at Aston Villa. We’re much more ruthless than Labour in terms of getting rid of our failed leaders and Alex McLeish was becoming our Michael Foot, I’m afraid. This season has been a bit like the 1983 election in that respect! Will we find the footballing equivalent of Tony Blair, I wonder. Think Blair, think Mourinho, perhaps. What’s old Jose doing these days, anyway??

  24. @Howard

    lol. I think anecdotes about SDP members are a bit dated, though. It probably applies to original SDP defectors much more so, but most reasons I’ve seen – and this is backed up by polling – is from people who’d moved to the Lib Dems under Kennedy as a move [i]left[/i], seeing New Labour to be too right-wing. Doubt they’ve much in common with Rob Sheffield.

  25. left* ;)

  26. “Ukip could do a deal to drop all their candidates, or they could stand their ground.”

    More likely they will stand their ground now that Farage is leader again… Pearson was, in his own words, “not much good at party politics”.

    As Kellner pointed out, if the next election is in 2015, the last thing Tories will want to see is Ukip out polling them in the 2014 EU elections – much will depend on how Stuart Weeler fares in his new fundraising role.

  27. Steve Coberman

    I agree that the fact the lib dems were trying to ride two horses ever since the creation of their party, which they had been doing successfully over the easy ground of opposition. Once in government the ground has gotten trickier and the circus act had to end, to the dismay of people backing the socialist horse.

    Labours tactic of attacking the lib dems hard at the start of the coalition has worked, it set the mood music for the papers to attack the lib dems, scrutinising every policy they wish they wouldn’t, while ignoring every policy the lib dems wish to highlight. It’s stuck,

    All hail the power of the press, Labour played that game well, freeing them up to attack the tories while their wing of the press continues to harry the lib dems. The fact the the lib dems can’t get their message out should be very worrying for them. It’s one thing for the public to not like your message, it’s quite another when the message isn’t heard above the din of media attacks. I’m glad it’s not my job to sort out lib dems strategy.

    It might not be fair but that’s politics.

    `it is those of a Liberal tendancy who run the party and while the ex Social Democrat “leaders” are still around (eg Charlie Kennedy), many or most of the SDP rank and file have left (including myself) leaving the bulk of the party as Liberals (Orange Bookers)`

    It was a serious question pertaining to the fact that while leftist LD supporters have ditched,there haven`t been any major defections of LD leaders from the social democratic wing…One remembers Dame Williams offering support for the NHS bill

  29. @Pete B

    Are they though? I see lots of quotes like this, but it seem to come from along the lines of “we came second in [insert Labour heartland] and thus we must be pulling voters from the Left”, ignoring completely – as in the case of the Barnsley Central by-election – they do so alongside a historically-weak Tory result.

  30. @Smukesh
    “One remembers Dame Williams offering support for the NHS bill”

    Very sad. What would Vera Brittain make of it all?

  31. @Pete B,

    I had to smirk at the view that a rise in UKIP is good for “neutrals” because it might bring about a change in the system.

    Hmm, a change to an unbroken 50 year reign of Labour majority governments with no incentive to change from FPTP and espousing policies that UKIP supporters despise?


  32. The reason that the LibDems are polling so low is obvious.

    In 2008, Clegg said he would not – under any circumstances – go into coalition with the Tories.

    Before the 2010 election, the LibDems pledged to scrap tuition fees – and did the exact opposite.

    In the run up to 2010, the LibDems, on a number of issues positioned themselves to the left of Labour – then jumped into bed with the Tories.

    They may have got a few policy scraps from Cameron, but, for the most part, they are doing the *opposite* of what they said they would do.

    This is different from both Labour and Tories failing to fulfil promises.

    Any party that acted this way would rightly be sunk.

  33. @Neil A

    It’s your turn.

  34. The government has the look of death about it.

    Interesting stat about the very strong support for labour/hostility to the coaltion amongst the 40-59 age group – this age group would tend to be the most influential members of the poulation – and also old enough to remember the previous tory government.

    The budget/omnishambles looks like it was the coaltions black wedenesday – and the news that we were back in recession was the icing on the brick.

    The governments credibility on the economy is melting – and unless their is a remarkable turn around on that front, that rating in only going to go one way.

    Osbourne has painted himself into a corner with ‘no plan b’ – whilst their is an ever growing clamour of voices agasint the austerity programme.
    Also the majority of the cuts still to take effect.

    If there is no economic turn around soon the govenrment will have to perform a humiliaring u-turn – or carry on digging itself into the mire.

    Ed Balls called it exaclty right – he said it would take 18 months for it to become clear that the austerity package would not work – and that labour would reap the poltical benefits soon after.

  35. @SMukesh – “Dame Williams offering support for the NHS bill.”

    On the other hand David Owen in the Lords:

    To press ahead with this legislation, while appealing to the High Court [the information commissioners ruling about publication of the risk register], would be the third constitutional outrage associated with this legislation. The first was to legislate within months of the prime minister promising in the general election that there would be no top-down reorganisation of the NHS. The second was to implement large parts of the legislation without Parliamentary authority.

    The attempt to railroad this legislation through both Houses of Parliament has raised very serious questions about the legitimacy of this coalition government.”

  36. @Peter Bell (10.03pm)

    I didn’t really know much about Huhne at the time (apart from that he’d been a journalist). As I said earlier, it was a mistake.

  37. @BILLY BOB
    Unlike Dame Williams, I think Lord Owen never joined the Liberal Democrats.

  38. NEIL A

    What an interesting concept you put forward.

    In order, that a particular party should be kept out of office, voters should fossilise the system by never deviating from support for one of the big two UK parties.

    Had your advice been followed in the past, the UK would still be choosing between Whigs and Tories.

  39. @lizh – “Lord Owen never joined the Liberal Democrats.”

    Quite, but he did lead his party for five years in the Liberal-SDP Alliance… as fans of Spitting Image will remeber. ;)

  40. @Alan (11.36)

    Alan, imo the problem is not that the LDs are failing to get their message across but more that they have been party to many government decisions which have angered the majority of the public.

    For example, re the budget – the problem is not that Clegg failed to get the message across about the increase in tax threshold but the fact that it was totally outweighed by the 45p tax rate and the “granny tax”.

    Similarly, decisions to stand with the Tories re tuition fees, NHS and welfare far outweigh any of the LD manifesto pledges which have been achieved.

  41. @Neil A

    “Hmm, a change to an unbroken 50 year reign of Labour majority governments with no incentive to change from FPTP and espousing policies that UKIP supporters despise?


    You obviously never had much to do with the Labour hard left in the 80s, who preferred ideological purity to the possibility of power.


    “Similarly, decisions to stand with the Tories re tuition fees”

    While it isn’t clear just what SLab are proposing, their opposition to no tuition fees for Scots students here, suggests that they also “stand with the Tories”.

  43. @Craig (11.26)

    “Interesting that in even in the remaining record low of 7% Yougov show that less than half approve of the coalition – how much of that disapproval is made of social democratic opposition is unknown, however.”

    Looking at LDV and other LD blogs, it seems that there are still a lot of left leaning (SDP?) members in the party. However, they are very unhappy with the coallition and some are suggesting that Clegg et al stand up for LD principles even if this means the break-up of the coallition.

    I guess that there are still many left of centre members remaining is not surprising. I remember a poll about a year or more ago which showed that the vast majority of remaining LD “voters” were still left of centre on a 1 – 10 scale. This was even after the party had heamoraged many of its 2010 supporters.

  44. I’m gratified to see some serious rational discussion of how the LibDems got to where they are. I have little more light to cast.

    I must, however, respond to Howard.

    “Having met many ex-SDP members…” What about non-member supporters, though? These (and I realise that sample of 1 is not statistically significant, but will say my piece anyway) were NOT tribal Labour, and have NOT returned to Labour. They were socially liberal and fiscally redistributive, but non-centralist. Any flickers towards Labour were lost by the sight of the control-freakery of the Blair/Brown years.

    “They aren’t that fussed about PR and neither pro EU.” PR is about minor party self-interest. I have no problem with it, but no great enthusiasm either. I have always been a huge EU enthusiast and remain so (though with increasing despair in recent months as it seeks to kill itself).

    “These are those who have returned to Lab since June 2010. (er, IMO)” Not returned, and don’t plan to. Now politically homeless. Could only vote for “none of the above”.

    I’m glad to be old enough to remember Roy Jenkins 1964-72. Best Home Sec of the century, one of the best Chancellors, and a supporter of the EU against the arm-twisters of the Labour establishment. Sic transit gloria mundi.

  45. It’s a bit unfair to characterise the ‘traditional Liberals’ as being just as fiscally restrictive as the Conservatives and only distinguished by their social liberality. The single most radical budget of the 20th century must be that introduced by the Liberals in 1909, which only passed by the Lords, watered-down, in 1910; Keynes was a card-carrying Liberal and a direct influence on Liberal policy during the 1920s and 30s.

    Roughly between 1885 (with the apex of Liberal-Labour) and 1930, Labour gained huge swathes of radical Liberal territory, members and MPs, which fundamentally changed the nature of the Liberal party. Two (or three, depending on how you count!) splits in the same period didn’t help matters, which were due to certain groups within the party wanting to ally with Conservatives and the messy end of a Tory-Lib coalition – sound slightly familiar? Still, the loss of ground on their left and consequent ideological shift really was the death knell for the Liberals as the main anti-Tory party.

  46. @ Old Nat

    Re tuition fees, Labour are asking:
    1. What will be done for Scottish students who are denied a place because it is filled by a student who is willing to pay £9,000 in fees; &
    2. If an independent Scotland is in Europe but out of the UK, the fees from English, Welsh & NI students will be zero. This will leave a big gap in the budgets of Scottish universities.

    SNP can simply answer the questions or they can accuse Labour of being ‘Tories’.

  47. @ Alan (from the previous thread)

    “I suspect the orange bookers see themselves as far from even the modernising Tories as they do from the other half of their party It was never a real issue for the lib dems in opposition as these divisions meant less.

    I’m sure former SDP members/voters saw the lib dems as a continuation of “their” party and the Orange Bookers as a bunch of upstarts who are now hijacking “their party”. By 2010 they were probably wondering what the lib meant in their party. Equally, the Orange Bookers see that liberal traditions should be the basis of their party and set themselves up as a protest against the domination of the party from the SDP.

    All of this probably passed over the heads of half of their voters who thought they were voting for the labour “B” team and are outraged the impossible coalition wasn’t formed. Perhaps the best way ahead for the lib dems is to break up back into the SDP and the liberal party if the internal wounds become to great to bear or they lose the ability to get their message across. I can’t see it happening soon but if the party appears to be entering a terminal decline even once out of government it could well remain an option.

    Could the Orange Bookers join the Tory party? Not yet, the old right wing anti-modernising branch of the Tory party is still too strong (in voice if not numbers) and alien to a liberal, even if the reds are trying to claim they are bosom buddies.”

    I think you really summed it up well. The Lib Dems were the ones who prevented the Conservatives from getting their overall majority. They had picked up a whole slew of seats from the Tories in 1997 and 2001 further contributing to the deficit for the Conservatives that had to be made up. But unlike the Labour held seats that were easy to target as Labour was the incumbent government, the Lib Dem members weren’t and they were hard to target as a result.

    I think a lot of things go over the heads of voters that some of us value. But I think that’s part of the fun and importance of coalition building.

    I don’t think the Lib Dems will split up but certainly for the next election, the SDP wing is likely to go to Labour while the Orange Book Liberal wing will continue to support the Lib Dems. I also don’t see them becoming permanent allies of the Tories. Obviously I don’t know too many Lib Dems, Orange Bookers or SDP types (let’s face it, I don’t know all that many British people) but of the Lib Dems I’ve talked to who are very much supportive of the Coalition and their party (and they seem to be of Orange Book Liberal types) are really anti-Tory. Makes me think the coalition isn’t so much a marriage but a one night stand. (Or perhaps given the length of time, it’s more like a highly dysfunctional relationship).

    I don’t know what will happen to the tactical voters though. They might go back to voting for Labour and for other parties they prefer.

  48. Peter Bell

    I’d argue that the drop in LD support happened way before any of that. Certainly, those issues aren’t helping and the media has taken full advantage of those issues to continue to pummel the LDs.

    Trying to pin the LD drop in support on the so called “granny tax” seems to violate the laws of causality.

    Trying to run a coalition without a formal agreement would be a very good way to avoid taking any decisions, unfortunately decisions needed to be taken. The Lib Dems could have brought down the government a number of times so far, would it really have been in the national interest for us to have had a second election in 2010?

    I’m sure if it ever becomes necessary for a lib/lab coalition in the future a similar agreement will be necessary to facilitate a government rather that face internal party disagreements within the government on every single policy.

  49. @ Howard

    “Mind, the lefties think I’m blue anyway. :)”

    Yeah, sometimes I feel the same way, like I’m a right winger here. But then there are other times, where I’m probably to the left of everyone here. I guess it’s a cultural thing.

  50. @ Old Nat

    “While it isn’t clear just what SLab are proposing, their opposition to no tuition fees for Scots students here, suggests that they also “stand with the Tories”.”

    I think I support SLAB’s position. I have to say I think there should be some tuition fees. It’s weird to be saying this given all my furor over the doubling of student loan interest rates and all my support for making college more affordable (I do support making all community colleges free). But part of me thinks students should have to pay something for their education in order to feel invested in it and to make sure that those who go to college are those who really will benefit from it.

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